Measures of Effectiveness for the Information-Age Navy

The Effects of Network-Centric Operations on Combat Outcomes

by Walter L. Perry, Robert W. Button, Jerome Bracken, Thomas Sullivan, Jonathan Mitchell


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In military operations, information has always been every bit as vital as fuel or ammunition in achieving favorable outcomes.Today, the need to reduce decision timelines highlights its importance. The Navy postulates that network-centric operations will enhance the effectiveness of combat systems by allowing commanders to mass effects from great distances. At issue is verification of this assumption. How can the effectiveness of network-centric information systems be linked to combat outcomes? The authors seek to identify how information affects outcomes and determine how to measure the link between the two. This report creates a framework for developing measures to help the Navy decide how network-centric operations affect combat outcomes and which information systems work best. The authors demonstrate a proof-of-concept tool that can generate several alternative network-centric command, control, communications, computer, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance systems. Using a spreadsheet model, they take the first steps toward developing formulas to help the Navy codify an approach to measuring combat effectiveness in network-centric operations.

Table of Contents

  • Preface PDF

  • Figures PDF

  • Tables PDF

  • Summary PDF

  • Acknowledgements

    Acknowledgments PDF

  • Acronyms

    Acronyms and Terms PDF

  • Chapter One

    Introduction PDF

  • Chapter Two

    A Future Maritime Conflict PDF

  • Chapter Three

    Cruise Missile and Ballistic Missile Defense PDF

  • Chapter Four

    A Time-Critical Target PDF

  • Chapter Five

    Exploratory Analysis Tool PDF

  • Chapter Six

    Conclusion PDF

  • Appendix

    Information Entropy PDF

  • Bibliography PDF

The research described in this report was performed under the auspices of RAND's National Security Research Division.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation monograph report series. The monograph/report was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1993 to 2003. RAND monograph/reports presented major research findings that addressed the challenges facing the public and private sectors. They included executive summaries, technical documentation, and synthesis pieces.

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